Lead screening is first of 2-step process

Free lead screening for PPS students, staff, family this weekend

A blood test (CDC via MGN Online)
A blood test (CDC via MGN Online)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A fourth free lead screening will be held this weekend for Portland Public Schools students, staff and families.

Screening is the first step in the process and typically consists of a finger prick test. If your screening for lead shows a possible high level, you’re advised to see a doctor.

     Sign up for free PPS lead testing


If your test shows a high result,the Multnomah County Health Department suggest getting it double-checked. A doctor will then do a more extensive blood test.

If there is a high lead level, exposure could have been anywhere from a few days to a few months ago.

“It’s a great public health outreach that families and children are getting screened. And if they have an elevated test, they need to follow it up with a blood test,” said Dr. Zane Horowitz, the medical director for the Oregon Poison Center. “And they need to have their homes investigated because invariably the source is going to be their homes and not the drinking fountain at school.”

In extreme cases, Horowitz said, medicationg will be used to treat high lead levels. More typically, though, the focus will be eliminating the source of the lead exposure.

Multnomah County — lead poisoning prevention

The latest school lead testing results from screenings through July 24 show 38 people with elevated lead levels. Those 38 people include 7 people who used a home test kit approved by PPS. Courtney Westling with PPS told KOIN 6 News they have not yet received the results from the testing on July 30-31.

Free lead screenings for PPS students, staff and families will be held the next 3 weekends — August 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 — at the PPS district office, 501 N. Dixon. So many people walked in at the last screening, officials with Kadalyst (the screening company) were concerned they would run out of supplies for Sunday, Westling said. They asked people to reschedule for a future appointment.

In July, the health department announced that 2 PPS students with lead poisoning got it from a household source, not water from a Portland school.

       PPS Water Quality Test Results


Health officials at that time said they were able to pinpoint the source of the lead exposure with “almost 100% accuracy.”

Multnomah County Leadline: 503.988.4000

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